Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Blue Man Group issued a press release Friday morning refuting a man’s claims that they forced a tube down his throat as part of a show.

Earlier this week, audience participant James Srodon filed a court claim in Cook County Circuit Court that members of performance trio forced a dirty tube down his throat against his will while he was part of a skit called “Esophagus Video.”

The description of the incident is not true, says the musical performance group.

“We are shocked and surprised to learn of the allegations made in reference to one of our comedic pieces, ‘Esophagus Video,'” the group said.

Srodon claims that he was unexpectedly approached and had a tubular camera forced down his throat during an October 2006 performance at Chicago’s Briar Street Theatre. He claims he had his head was forced back and one of the Blue Men forced the tube in him. The joke is to show footage from the inside of the audience member.

The Blue Man Group says that nothing actually goes down anyone’s throat.

” ‘Esophagus Video’ is simply an illusion,” the group wrote in its press release. “A camera is held in an actor’s hands, the actor’s hands are placed near an audience member’s mouth (not on or in). The live-feed video screen then switches to a pre-recorded medical video, resulting in the hilarious and absurd illusion that the audience is peering down an individual’s esophagus. Because the camera never enters the mouth, the execution of this illusion could not possibly put anyone at risk of injury.”

The group added the skit and skits like it have been performed for the past 15 years by them without complaint.

The Californian is suing on the basis that the alleged tube was unsafely dirty and that his experience being cornered gave him post-traumatic stress and nightmares.

Srodon also claims he lost fillings and dental work because of the tube. The suit is reported to be seeking damages of more than $500,000, however the group reported that they have not been served papers as of Friday morning.

The Blue Man Group has a lot of audience participation as part of their show and is a Las Vegas fixture. The music and comedy group came to public consciousness around 2000.

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